Will Australia sacrifice wildlife for $50 Billion deal with China?

27 08 2009

Juvenile flat back turtle

Juvenile flat back turtle

Despite Australia’s rocky relationship with China the signing of a $50 billion natural gas deal has become Australia’s biggest investment ever undertaken.

ExxonMobil is selling 25 percent of their share in the Gordon gas field on an island off the west coast of Australia.

Petro China has signed an agreement with Australia to purchase $50 billion worth of liquefied natural gas over a time period of 20 years, approximately 2.25 million tons of gas a year.

This will result in stronger ties between the Australian and Chinese governments, over six thousand job opportunities, not to mention $50 billion for Australia.                                                             

However this deal is potentially life threatening for Australia’s wildlife. Environmentalists deem the decision as irresponsible saying the Barrow Island is home to native and endangered wildlife species and that the plant should be constructed on the mainland. Conservationists argue that the development of the plant will endanger the species. The safe running of the plant as well as maintaining a safe environment for the flat backs is in their opinion, too much to handle.

Environment minister Peter Garret however has dismissed these allegations giving the developers 28 guidelines to the way the plant should be constructed. He claims that he has thoroughly investigated the matter and made sure that the environment remains untouched and species unharmed. Paradoxically, the offshore development of the plant is said to be beneficial for native wildlife species and the environment.

Despite minor protests, the deal will be signed resulting in a massive stimulus to the Australian economy and the future of Australia’s wildlife at this stage seems to be in the capable hands of Peter Garret.

By Jessica & Nick

References

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=411922&type=Business

http://www.wwf.org.au/assets/juvenile-flatback-turtle.jpg

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